The Fall of the Romanov Dynasty (1927), Rain (1929), Apocalypse Pooh (1987)
The past couple weeks I watched these three films, all new to me. The first and third are examples of found film (Apocalypse Pooh includes found audio as well); all are examples of film montage. Esfir Shub 's The Fall of the Romanov Dynasty requires some patience but creates a dialectic momentum as it proceeds. For me the artifact film clips produce fascination with a vanished past more than they work as propaganda. This version is subtitled in English and Esperanto (Esperanto, as if it weren't already arcane enough). It's also completely silent, so I opened up a track of Tchaikovsky's greatest hits as accompaniment, which serves the movie well (although the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy didn't work as a soundtrack for WWI, had to jump to another piece). Joris Iven's and Mannus Franken's Rain conjures fleeting moods and tones in a prewar Amsterdam. Todd Graham's Apocalypse Pooh is a funny and well-crafted mashup.